What were some of the consequences of Johannes Gutenberg's invention of moveable type in the 5th century?

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tjbrewer eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Protestant Reformation was the biggest consequence.  Until the invention of the Gutenberg press, there were few copies of Holy Scripture (due to the difficulties of copying text by hand), and these were in Latin or Greek, so only the learned nobility and clergy could read them. The Gutenberg printing press allowed a large number of copies of Scripture to be printed in a short period and these in vernacular languages that the educated commoner could read.  This led to new interpretations of Biblical passages, and that ultimately led to calls for reform in common Catholic practices of the time.  Resistance to these reforms led to Luther, Tyndale, Calvin, and others forming their own brands of Christianity, thus empowering the Protestant reformation. The Gutenberg printing press also was the genesis of journalism, which even today can shape public opinion.  The pen may be mightier than a sword, but it is powerless against the press.